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Orange Juice Fights Kidney Stones
Kidney stones, one of the most painful of the urologic disorders, have beset humans for centuries. Scientists have found evidence of kidney stones in a 7,000-year-old Egyptian mummy.
A person with a family history of kidney stones may be more likely to develop stones. Urinary tract infections, kidney disorders such as cystic kidney diseases, and certain metabolic disorders such as hyperparathyroidism are also linked to stone formation.
People who develop painful kidney stones are at high risk of getting them again. Yet, a study carried out in Texas, USA, showed a daily glass of orange juice could keep them at bay. The juice contains citrate, a chemical that helps to prevent the stones from forming.
In the study, researchers compared the effects of orange juice and lemonade in preventing recurrent kidney stones. Both juices contain comparable citrate levels.
Thirteen volunteers, some with a history of kidney stones and some without, participated in the three-phase study.
In random order, the participants drank approximately 13 ounces of either distilled water, orange juice, or lemonade three times a day with meals for one week, with a three-week interval before moving to the next phase. They also followed a special diet as recommended for preventing recurrent kidney stones.
The results showed that orange juice increased levels of citrate in the urine and decreased urine acidity, which reduced the risk of kidney stones. But lemonade did not have the same effect.
“Orange juice could potentially play an important role in the management of kidney stone disease and may be considered an option for patients who are intolerant of potassium citrate,” says researcher Clarita Odvina, MD, assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, in a news release.
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